Another men’s fashion season in Europe played out across digital channels, allowing designers to experiment with visuals and sound to help tell their Fall/Winter 21-22 stories. While some chose austere and natural settings to showcase their collections, others selected digitized imagery to create their own fantastical backdrop. Denim found a way to live in both realms.
Nods to workwear and outdoor apparel were found throughout collections as more consumers consider qualities like the durability and functionality of the garments they purchase. South Korean men’s wear brand Wooyoungmi updated the classic denim work shirt with untraditional pocketing. Matching loose-fit jeans featured a center crease.
With a collection that spanned ecru, black, light and dark-wash denim, David Catalan gave a lesson in simplicity with his matching workwear-inspired jackets and bottoms. Contrast stitching, slightly worn edges and some play on proportions—be it cropped or balloon-shaped legs—gave the denim a youthful vibe.
Function was at the center of Levi’s collaborator Heron Preston’s collection. Puffer coats, sweats and fire-resistant shirts balanced the baggy proportions of jeans with utility details like hammer loops. Meanwhile, Isabel Marant made a strong case for the denim jumpsuit—a key item in women’s that has yet to transfer to men’s.
Genderless brand EgonLab placed a strong emphasis on flare jeans in a collection called “Horror Story,” which was presented in a 13-minute film of the same name. Classic jean jackets were trimmed with metal nail head studs—a trim that was also used by Dundas to embellish the lines of its Western denim shirting and on GmbH’s check shirting.
Varied interpretations of Western fashion were found in several collections including Wales Bonner, Louis Vuitton and Y/Project, which used metal snaps to manipulate silhouettes and chaps to drive home the story. The Glenn Martens-designed collection also featured jeans with cowboy boot embroidery. Bluemarble dabbled in unique front-yoke details and seams.
Twisted seams updated Brunello Cucinelli’s classic jeans. Decorative stitching modernized Brioni’s jean jacket. Subtle rip-and-repair brought a lived-in look and feel to Eleventy’s straight-fit jeans.
In a collection that included hoodies, trench coats and drapey pajama-style sets, Dries Van Noten also incorporated tried-and-true indigo pieces like a jean jacket (worn tucked into wool trousers) and high-waisted wide-leg jeans that puddled over shoes. The fabric’s veiny surface mimicked the texture of some of the nylon pieces in the collection. The designer also played with rust-colored finishes that gave the denim an eroded appearance.
Jeans were a popular garment for designers with a brash design point of view for the season. Rick Owens incorporated bleached-out denim pieces in a signature dark and moody collection. Jeans and elongated denim jackets by Alyx shared the same muddy, leather-like surface. Dhruv Kapoor’s bleach-splattered jeans resulted in a bold contrast of white and bright blue.
More was more for Cool TM, which lined the gaping holes on its destroyed ’90s-style baggy jeans with floral fabrics. Rhuded favored a ripped jeans in a collection that veered toward grunge. For Maison Mihara Yasuhiro, denim was a medium to experiment with deconstruction and off-kilter shapes.
Vetements decorated denim pieces with a black flame motif. The garments sat alongside the brand’s staple laser-printed logo denim and extra-long and baggy silhouettes. Flame motifs were found in Sankuanz’s dystopian collection as well, in addition to denim jackets and jeans with streaky paint, inky splatter and dangerous spikes.
Other designers applied handcrafted techniques to create a personal and unique look to their denim. Basscoutur centered on patchwork constructions for its jackets and flare jeans. Vintage and deadstock fabrics add visual interest and texture to Children of the Discordance’s denim garments. Kidsuper created abstract faces on jeans through patchwork and collage techniques.
Moschino, meanwhile, presented fully painted denim pieces making truly wearable pieces of art.